TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football safety Hootie Jones didn’t hold back in his assessment of the Crimson Tide’s defense coming out of the first scrimmage.
Jones, a rising senior, said the Crimson Tide’s quarterbacks were the highlight of a “great” scrimmage.
“The quarterbacks were very good to see, very competitive and putting their guys in great positions,” Jones said Monday. “I mean, honestly, the defense really got tore up by the quarterbacks.”
Jones put the blame solely on the defensive players and not the coaching staff. He said the defense spent too much time reading and anticipating the run, which opened up the back end.
“To be honest, we was just not respecting the deep part of the field,” Jones said. “We didn’t think they was going to pass it that much, but when we did think they were going to pass it, we thought it was gonna be short passes. And that was really killing the defense, honestly. I can’t sugarcoat it.”
Full statistics were not provided from the closed scrimmage, but Alabama coach Nick Saban revealed that Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing more than 50 percent of his passes. Jones said Hurts is “passing the ball a lot better.”
Jones added that the starters, backups and third-string offensive players all looked good on Saturday.
Rising junior Calvin Ridley led all receivers with 8 catches, including 3 touchdown grabs. T.J. Simmons added 7 catches while Robert Foster caught 3 passes.
“The receivers played real good and the quarterbacks was putting them in good positions, putting the ball on the money,” Jones said. “It wasn’t like nothing we could do, for real, because we was already playing lazy. They was tearing us up. I don’t even know what else to say.”
Jones is confident Alabama’s defense will improve going forward. Alabama football has five practices left before its A-Day spring game on April 22.
“We just have to play faster, for real,” Jones said. “We were playing very lazy out there and we was not respecting our keys that we’ve been told to respect at all times. We just weren’t doing it.”
Jones did mention that it gave him confidence seeing how well the offense is performing this early on.
Alabama wide receiver Cam Sims didn’t go as far as Jones did when breaking down the scrimmage, but he was pleased with how the offense looked.
“We just had a good day,” Sims said. “We’re pretty much just focused on this week to improve.”